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Foundation for Surgical Technology awards two Holmes students scholarships

Foundation for Surgical Technology awards two Holmes students scholarships Pictured are Erin Bell of Ethel and Rebecca Lauren Donald of Canton, both of whom received scholarships from the Foundation for Surgical Technology. Bell graduated from the Grenada Campus and Donald from the Ridgeland Campus. The Foundation for Surgical Technology (FFST) awarded Holmes Community College students Erin Bell of Ethel and Rebecca "Lauren" McDonald of Canton each $1,000 scholarships. In addition to the scholarships, both students will be recognized in the August issue of The Surgical Technologist, the Foundation website and in an upcoming issue of ASTSA News and the Instructors Newsletter. Bell is a student on the Holmes Grenada Campus and McDonald is a student on the Ridgeland Campus.

Erin Bell

"Erin is an exemplary student, always willing to help others," said Surgical Technology Program Director Jessica Elliot. "She is eager to learn something new every day."

The daughter of Jennie Watkins and Josh Watkins, Bell was named Surgical Technology Student of the Year on the Grenada Campus. She enjoys fishing, playing with her dogs and spending time with my husband and friends. Bell is focused on both finding a job in the field and finishing building a house with her husband.

"I always knew I wanted to go into the medical field, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do," Bell said. After a long talk with my sister-in-law, I decided to try the surgical technologist program. I really enjoy the environment and the task they accomplish."

Lauren McDonald

McDonald, who earned a bachelor's degree in business management from Mississippi State University in just three years prior to attending Holmes, will be working as a full-time surgical technologist at University of Mississippi Medical Center. She is aspiring to work on the cardiothoracic and heart transplant teams at UMMC. McDonald said that one day she would love to ascend to become a first assistant, which is the next advancing position upward, demanding a more hands-on approach when scrubbing in the procedures.

"I am so proud of Lauren and all of her accomplishments in the surgical technology program," said Ridgeland Campus Surgical Technology instructor Shea Coleman. "She is the epitome of a hard worker and a studious student!"

Outside of work, McDonald enjoys boating on the Reservoir and doing anything outdoors with friends, traveling all over the South, listening to music, going to the gym/taking fitness classes and spending time with her huge family. She was named Holmes Surgical Tech Student of the Year for Ridgeland and was voted Class President. 

"I want to be a surgical technologist because working in surgery is the most challenging, exciting experience," McDonald said. "It is so satisfying knowing that I can be a vital part of life-saving procedures and working on a team that is dedicated to bettering the health of our patients is the most rewarding occupation I could ask for. The world of surgery is constantly evolving more than ever before with more revolutionary techniques and devices and being a surgical technologist allows me to support that mission of surgeons and their teams everywhere."

For more information about the Surgical Tech program, contact Elliot at or (662) 227-2310.


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Holmes Community College does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information. Employees, students, applicants for admission or employment, or other participants in Holmes Community College programs or activities who believe they have been discriminated against are entitled to seek relief through the Compliance Officer (662) 472-9429. Written inquiries may be e-mailed to: or sent to: Compliance Office, P.O. Box 369, Goodman, MS 39079.

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